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Remastered

Billy Rees

Active Member
Thread Starter
Just curious to know what's your opinion on the digitally remastered CDs?

Is there a significant difference in the sound quality compared to an older CD release?

...And what does "digitally remastered" mean anyway?
 

ThaFunkyFakeTation

Ah am so steel een luv weeth yoo
Just curious to know what's your opinion on the digitally remastered CDs?

Is there a significant difference in the sound quality compared to an older CD release?

...And what does "digitally remastered" mean anyway?
Yeah, there's a difference. The "Remastered Classic" CDs do have a bit of compression applied to them. They're not my favorites so I just stick to the AM+ series (i.e. the original A&M CDs that came out).

After the original wave of CDs came out, Richard went back to the original master tapes (which he can no longer do - thanks, Universal!) and re-digitized and re-finessed them as to make new CDs. That's the easiest way I can explain it. Hope it's helpful.

Ed
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
“Passage” has a better sound on the original 80’s CD’s, but it’s still nowhere near as clear or defined as the LP and 45’s. For some reason it’s master seemed to get damaged in the 8/9 years between the 1977 release and its CD release, and then the masters were still damaged and made worst in 1998.

Also the “Christmas Collection” could be considered the beginning of the “Remasters” as “Christmas Portrait” had to be completely remixed due to its 1978 master having deteriorated to an unplayable state due to Polygram Europe not storing it properly. (It had been sent to Europe in 1984 to make the West Gefman CD).
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Also the “Christmas Collection” could be considered the beginning of the “Remasters” as “Christmas Portrait” had to be completely remixed due to its 1978 master having deteriorated to an unplayable state due to Polygram Europe not storing it properly. (It had been sent to Europe in 1984 to make the West Gefman CD).
I remember buying the Christmas album on CD when I lived in Munich in 1994 and had it in my collection for well over a decade before I realised the significance of it containing Ave Maria without the choir. I do believe it was on this forum that I read about the difference, and sure enough when I went to dig it out and play the song...no choir :eek:
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Moderator
And what does "digitally remastered" mean anyway?
Technically, ANY compact disc of Carpenters music is "digitally remastered", as it's presented in a digital format from analog originals. I suppose one could consider the original 80's A&M releases to be digitally remastered, and the late 90's issues to be "digitally re-remastered", simply meaning remastered again. In the late 1990's Richard, along with Bernie Grundman, went back to the master tapes and produced the full set of albums with the idea of no remixes, just the way the LPs sounded. And as far as versions go, that's almost correct. We know that the 90s version of MADE IN AMERICA's "Those Good Old Dreams" still had the altered synth sounds that Richard favored over the original LP release. Even the 80's version had that. You need the LP to get the original.

I had a similar experience with the CHRISTMAS PORTRAIT, picking up the CD on a very warm day in May of 1986. At that point, it was a novelty to have the original album on CD, as all that had been issued over here was the Special Edition hybrid of the two Christmas albums. I recognized the uniqueness of "Ave Maria" right away - well, after I got the disc home!

As far as box sets go, the remasters from 1998 were used in the 30th, 35th, and 40th box sets from Japan. The Carpenters Collection box set from the UK from the 20th anniversary utilized largely the 80s A&M masters. Back then, Richard had begun his remixes and a number of tracks appeared on those albums as remixes. So for A SONG FOR YOU, nearly the entire album was remixed for the MSFL disc, and then that set of masters was used for the Carpenters Collection disc of A SONG FOR YOU. On the tan CARPENTERS album, "Rainy Days..." and "Superstar" were remixed. And I believe that "I Need To Be In Love" from HUSH had its opening chopped off as it appeared on a single. For that COLLECTION set, PASSAGE sounds pretty good, and "Occupants" appeared in a slight remix.
 

Billy Rees

Active Member
Thread Starter
I remember buying the Christmas album on CD when I lived in Munich in 1994 and had it in my collection for well over a decade before I realised the significance of it containing Ave Maria without the choir. I do believe it was on this forum that I read about the difference, and sure enough when I went to dig it out and play the song...no choir :eek:
I went to Munich for a holiday around 1996 and bought that same CD... Like you, I never knew the significance of it until many years later!

I also bought the Tan Album CD as the UK cover at the time was the portrait of them, but this had the original logo only cover, which I'd never seen before!
 

Billy Rees

Active Member
Thread Starter
I think you're right Harry!

I only had the special edition version and there were songs on the German album that I'd never heard before, which was my reason for buying it.

Talking of Christmas albums, I remember being really disappointed that "My Favourite Things" was an instrumental and not a vocal track by Karen... Even though I like it, she would have sung that beautifully!

That must have been a big seller for that Munich store!
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
Talking of Christmas albums, I remember being really disappointed that "My Favourite Things" was an instrumental and not a vocal track by Karen... Even though I like it, she would have sung that beautifully!
Ditto! Same goes for O Holy Night...I thought that was going to be a Karen vocal when I first heard it. It would have transformed the 1984 Christmas album, not just because I think she would have done a stunning job, but it would have filled out the album with more KC vocals and had Karen heard sooner for the first time, straight after Richard’s vocal on the title track.
 

Carpe diem

Well-Known Member
Ditto! Same goes for O Holy Night...I thought that was going to be a Karen vocal when I first heard it. It would have transformed the 1984 Christmas album, not just because I think she would have done a stunning job, but it would have filled out the album with more KC vocals and had Karen heard sooner for the first time, straight after Richard’s vocal on the title track.
"Ditto! Same goes for O Holy Night..."

Yes! Karen seemed to sing with added inspiration with more spiritual songs such as Christ Is Born and Little Altar Boy. One can only imagine what she could've done with that beautiful song.
 

A&M Retro

Well-Known Member
"Ditto! Same goes for O Holy Night..."

Yes! Karen seemed to sing with added inspiration with more spiritual songs such as Christ Is Born and Little Altar Boy. One can only imagine what she could've done with that beautiful song.
‘O Holy Night’ is the one that got away, and it’s a CRIME! I remember seeing it listed on the cover and I thought, ‘YES!’ and BOOM, it was an instrumental. I know it’s Richard’s favorite, but why Karen didn’t perform it boggles the mind! And she was THERE in the ABC studios watching Richard perform it in 1977 on the first Christmas special! Ugh.
 

newvillefan

I Know My First Name Is Stephen
I know it’s Richard’s favorite, but why Karen didn’t perform it boggles the mind! And she was THERE in the ABC studios watching Richard perform it in 1977 on the first Christmas special! Ugh.
I’d completely forgotten that fact! Yeah, that makes it even worse for me that they didn’t record it. It was a favourite of his, laying right there and begging for her vocal. He must regret that in some ways. Strangely enough, I can hear her singing it in my head - nuances and all - and it outdoes all the other Christmas vocal leads, even Ave Maria.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
I was disappointed that it was just piano and orchestra on Oh Holy Night as well. It’s my favorite traditional Christmas song, and not that many do it justice, as I’m sure Karen would have done. I do not like the added choir on the remastered versions either. It just doesn’t fit right for me.
 

GDB2LV

Well-Known Member
Yes. In fact when the reissue was released I was quite surprised at the added choir. It really surprised me after hearing the original version over the early years. It just seemed a bit off to my ears.
 
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